In a move to strengthen drunk driving laws, a California state Sen. Jerry Hill has proposed a legislation that will require convicted citizens to install ignition locks for detecting blood-alcohol levels. More than 1000 deaths are related to DUI crashes and leave about 20,000 injured each year.
The legislation to be presented on Monday will require a convicted Californian to have an ignition lock installed in the vehicle. The program has been already effective in four California counties, including Alabama county while the new bill will further expand it. Hill mentioned that repeat offenders contributed to one-third of all DUI cases.
“They could not drive if they have any detection of alcohol on their breath. The car just won’t start for them,” said Hill.
Under the first offense, the driver will have to carry the device in the car for six months and for a year on the second conviction. The death of Hill’s best friend thirty years ago caused by a drunk driver prompted the senator to propose the legislation. He added that he hated to see other families go through that.
The program is also effective in 24 other states and has been successful with the reduction in deaths, accidents and collisions. Hill stated that the bill could have a tremendous effect in the reduction of recidivism, and the saving of lives. Violators will have to pay for the ignition lock if the bill is passed though driver with financial hardships can have the system installed for free.
The system is a live breathalyzer that would monitor the alcohol content in the driver’s blood. California Highway Patrol and law enforcement agencies showed their support for the legislation during the news conference in Redwood City where the Senator introduced the bill for driving-under-influence offenders to install “ignition interlock devices.”[ Via ]